Entergy Louisiana yesterady filed its proposed Phase I Entergy Future Ready resilience plan with the Louisiana Public Service Commission. Phase I seeks approval of the first five years of a 10-year resilience plan that would aim to accelerate the restoration of power and reduce the costs associated with doing so following major storms.
The filing proposes a comprehensive set of grid-hardening investments for the Commission to consider along with enhanced vegetation management and alternative technologies. To identify projects that would have the greatest impact and deliver significant benefits to customers at the lowest reasonable cost, the company used a data-driven approach that evaluated thousands of potential storm scenarios.
In its totality, the resilience projects are estimated to cost approximately $9.6 billion over 10 years. It calls for 9,600 distribution and transmission projects that would strengthen more than 269,000 structures over 11,000 miles of powerlines. As proposed, the plan would take place in two, five-year phases, from 2024 to 2033. The company is seeking approval of the first phase which encompasses approximately $5 billion worth of projects and is estimated to reduce customer interruptions by over 34 billion minutes over the next 50 years.
Although the company has successfully invested in its electric system for years, it is important to review the pace at which these efforts occur because the threat of weather events has increased at a time when the demand for power is expected to grow significantly to decarbonize the local economy and create a more sustainable future. In addition to filing its resilience plan, Entergy Louisiana is continuing to advocate for federal funding and work to secure grants that could mitigate the costs to customers.
“Louisiana has a chance to lead the way in terms of energy, resilience and sustainability, but we must be ready and that’s exactly what this plan intends to do,” said Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO. “Our Entergy Future Ready resilience plan is about making sure we’re not only meeting the daily power needs of residents, small businesses and industries, among many other stakeholders, but also meeting their needs in the toughest of times.”
He added, “We look forward to working with the Commission and our communities to meet the needs of our customers across Louisiana.”
Major hurricanes and other significant weather events are increasing in intensity and frequency. In the past 50 years, nine major hurricanes (categories 4 and 5) have hit the U.S. Six of them made landfall within the last five years, with two (hurricanes Laura and Ida) hitting Louisiana directly.
The Entergy Future Ready plan for Louisiana aims to reduce the cost of restoring the electric system following major events as well as reduce the number and duration of outages associated with those events. The plan builds upon previous investments in the grid such as the upgrade of approximately seven miles of transmission lines in the Bayou Region, upgrades to overhead infrastructure and undergrounding work performed along the coast and the completion of a new Mississippi River transmission crossing from Avondale to Harahan.
Separately, Entergy New Orleans, another subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, recently made a resiliency filing of its own recently with the New Orleans City Council. That plan calls for $1.5 billion in projects over 10 years.